Q. What are the ways to tell whether my dog is in pain?
Dogs may express pain in different ways. It depends on the individual pain tolerance levels, source, severity, and duration of pain.
Some signs of pain may include:
- Reduced food or water intake
- Increased licking of the lips, chewing more slowly, or unwilling to chew hard food if there is oral pain (E.g. from severe teeth decay)
- Abnormal urination or defaecation
- Limping or any abnormal walking gait
- Taking longer to lie down or get up
- Crouching of the body
- Tensing up any part of the body more than usual, or unwilling for a specific area of the body to be touched
It is very important to note that all of the above signs are non-specific and may have other causes that are not pain-related.
As dogs cannot verbally express their pain to us, any change in their normal behaviour may be significant. If you observe any of these signs or if your dog is just behaving abnormally in any way, do contact your vet immediately for further advice and assessment.